I’ve been really feeling inspired by so many books and podcasts I’ve been listening to. The self-help and empowerment genre are really having a moment, and I’m ripe to eat it up (my babies growing up, newfound free-time, and that mid-life crisis feels looming). But in all this forward thinking, positivity focusing, thought-swap proponing comes a lot of Future Living. And that? It can be a big anxiety rile up. I start to just see the Big Dreams (I have some huge ones!) and can’t quite wrap my brain around how my Right Now and Big Dreams can live in relative harmony while I put my heart and work into it all.
I had my brain rocked in the best way possible when I was listening to a podcast by Brooke Castillo (the Life Coach School) where she was sharing her Goal Setting Techniques. The podcast itself is full of hands-on journaling prompts and ways to achieve your goals. But what stopped me mid-run, mid-listen, to pause and re-listen, was this concept;
Want what you already have.
She told her clients to write a list of 25 things that they wanted. They came back with lists of achievements, honors, houses, items, travels, etc. But nothing that they already had. She shared about how that’s often the case, and how we need to change that.
This stumped me initially. But the more I thought about it, the more it made total sense. The things that we have, are things at one point that we wanted. So if we appreciate them and really think about them as things we continue to want, just like our goals, then we live in a space of more abundance. Instead of ruminating on a list of things we don’t have, it becomes a bridge between what we are already filled by, and the spaces we want to launch into. This small switch toward positivity and self-help thrives and lives on Abundance focused living (as opposed to scarcity). We have so much already!
For example – I want to be married. I want to love my husband really deeply. I want two children. I want to feel confident in my parenting and really deeply connected to those kids.
Those are things that I already have. But when I add them to my list of 25 things I want, it helps reframe my goals into that abundance perspective. In her podcasts Brooke highlights how you can sandwich your Already Achieved Wants with your Future Wants as a way of helping your brain realize how achievable those things can be.
I want to have children who love to travel, I want to take them to Hawaii and play in the surf and the Hyatt pool’s in Maui before 2020, and hold hands with my husband and smile deep and wide over their sweaty and sun soaked heads.
This takes things I have, experiences I can and have had, and puts into them something I have as a goal with my girls. My brain can’t reject it (as easily, hah!), and I can start to put into action some ways to really make this happen. And, I really want to make this happen. However, if I just say: I want to take my family to Hawaii, stay at an amazing resort, and afford it without debt. All before 2020. That seems… nearly impossible to me.
Abundance theory makes a lot of sense to me, to my brain, and jives with my experience. So I’m finding new ways to weave it into my journaling, goal setting, and plan making and that is really helping me reframe from this future minded goal setting to a place where I feel excited about what’s to come, and thankful for what is here.
In case you want to give it a go – a piece of her goal setting journaling was to write that list of 25 things you want and have every other one be something you already have.
I wrote mine up, and some of what came up surprised me! (in both the Have and Don’t Yet Have) If you want to listen to the whole episode, it’s available on the podcast App on iPhone and through iTunes, episode #3. I have a new little window of time to run/walk once a week, and I’ve been using it to listen to podcasts that are a little woo-woo, that light me up in the best way.
It always feels a little embarrassing how much I adore self-help books and podcasts, but they’ve changed my heart and mind in significant and positive ways. They also really affirm my already sunny disposition and feel like they are helping me harness that into some big stuff, and real changes.
I know they can be a little excluding, and annoying. But if you feel at all drawn to self-help stuff, start with podcasts. They’re a little less woo-woo feeling than reading a book, and have done a lot for me personally in giving me hands-on tools for journaling and working towards dreams.
I’d love any recommendation for books and podcasts that fit this genre! My current favorites are The Lively Show and Life Coach School!